FC Augsburg v Bayer 04: Countdown to kick-off

Results are on the up: the last three games have seen the Werkself secure three wins including last week's 2-1 victory in the derby against FC Köln. Ahead of the next international break, Heiko Herrlich's team are away to FC Augsburg on Bundesliga matchday 11. The kick-off on Saturday (4 November 2017) is at 15.30 CET.

Countdown to kick-off

The Bayer 04  team and staff will fly to South Germany after the final pre-match training session on Friday. The ETA at Augsburg Airport is 18.00 CET before travelling on to the team hotel in the city centre. On the morning of the match, the team will take part in a communal walk before heading for the WWK Arena at around 14.00 CET. Referee Christian Dingert is in charge of the match that kicks off 90 minutes later. As in the previous three matches, the Werkself will play in their lucky red kit facing an Augsburg team in white.

Friends reunited

This will be Heiko Herrlich's first game against FC Augsburg – both as a player  and as a coach. On Saturday, the Werkself coach will meet up again with Manuel Baum his former assistant during his time at SpVgg Unterhaching. At the express request of Herrlich,  the now 38-year-old coach, who took over as manager of FCA at the end of December 2016, was brought into the then third division side for the 2011/12 campaign. In addition, Herrlich will meet a former team-mate in Augsburg CEO Stefan Reuter who he played alongside for Borussia Dortmund between 1995 and 2004 winning the Champions League, the Intercontinental Cup and two league titles before both retired at the same time. Werkself midfielder Dominik Kohr will also be reunited with some familiar faces at Augsburg: The 23-year-old made 102 appearances for Augsburg before returning to Bayer 04 in the summer.

Previous meeting

The last time the two teams met in Augsburg was historic. On 17 February of this year, Bayer 04 won 3-1 with Karim Bellarabi opening the scoring on 23 minutes with the 50,000th goal in the Bundesliga. Former Bayer 04 striker Chicharito netted the other two goals for the Werkself. And the other goal in the encounter was  also scored by a familiar face in Leverkusen: Dominik Kohr.

Almost perfect record

Saturday's game is the 15th competitive match between the two clubs. Looking at the records, FC Augsburg are, without doubt, a favourite opponent for Bayer 04. In the previous 14 meetings (twelve in the Bundesliga, two in the Cup) the Black and Reds have not lost once. Bayer 04 have eight wins and four draws in the Bundesliga fixtures. It is worth noting: FCA have only lost one of the last five league matches between the two clubs – and that was the game in February.

Six games unbeaten

The Werkself are on a run, picking up eleven points from the last five match days – with the FCA team under coach Manuel Baum collecting just five points in the same period. Augsburg have lost their last two home games 2-1 – against Borussia Dortmund and Hannover 96. If FCA fail to earn a point against Bayer 04 on Saturday then it will be the first time in their eight years in the Bundesliga that they have lost three home matches on the bounce.

always On the hunt for goals

The Werkself are currently eighth in the table on 15 points. Just looking at the 22 goals scored so far this season, Herrllich's team are third behind  Borussia Dortmund (27) and FC Bayern (24). Bayer 04 are top of the league in another ranking: The 2-1 victory over FC Köln was the 15th match in succession where the Black and Reds have scored at least one goal. The last time the Werkself achieved a similar run in the Bundesliga was between February and September 2016. That run ended with a goalless draw against FC Augsburg.

Unlucky with video evidence

Video evidence has been used since the start of the season – and regularly is the centre of discussion. That affected Bayer 04 last Saturday when Kevin Volland's goal to make it 3-1 was ruled out for a handball by Leon Bailey in the build-up. That was the fourth time the video assistant has been called into action in a game involving Leverkusen – the referee's decision has always been overturned against Leverkusen. Only SC Freiburg have suffered the same fate to date. In contrast the Werkself, Freiburg have had two positive outcomes from reviews.  

Bernd Leno On verge of Top Ten

The 5-1 win at Borussia Mönchengladbach was victory number 100 in a Leverkusen shirt for Bernd Leno. The next milestone is just around the corner for the Bayer 04 keeper.  Playing against FC Augsburg would be the 211th Bundesliga match  for the 25-year-old. That would put him level  with Christian Wörns in the club's top ten for appearances. There is only one goalkeeper in that group: Bayer 04 record holder Rüdiger Vollborn (401 games). Moreover: Bernd Leno is the only player to have played in every one of the twelve league games between FCA and Bayer 04.


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